Where Does Our Loyalty Lie

As a Christian our primary #1 loyalty is to our creator. Then comes loyalty to our family, neighbor, and yes, to our nation we live in. While God and State are powers we live under they are not co-existent, separate but equal powers.

Let’s look at these two scriptures side by side because at first look the come across as very contradictory.

“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.” —Romans 13: 1-2

“And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.” —Exodus 14:4

If you know me you know I’m very big on foundations. Using my philosophical language I call foundations presuppositions, a term you will find in many of my writings. Paul, in his letter to the Roman Christians gives us a look at one of those foundational principles God established for the life we live: God instituted, ordained governing authorities not to rule over us—a pejorative term—but to govern us.

It was always God’s intent for us to govern ourselves. But our sin showed that this idealism was unworkable. I’ve observed potters when a flaw is seen in their work they crush it and toss it out, but God finding a flaw in us didn’t do that, yet we could not enjoy his eternal presence until that flaw in us was corrected. Having been kicked out of the Garden it was now up to us to work out our salvation. It had to be this way. We were made for greatness with God and we have to rediscover we are great and we can’t do that if God is carrying us. But this doesn’t mean he abandoned us, he’s here to help us but not carry us.

Let me put it this way; sin has made us like a herd of cats, we’re running all over the place. Government was instituted to organize us, to help control us, to give us structure and order to benefit us in our reestablishing our wholeness. The problem is government is not staffed by angels but by fellow humans, those who like us walk in sin and therefore screwup their job description and become as much and sometimes more of a problem than a help. We see this in the Exodus scripture.

This is why Paul writes these words to Timothy: “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior.” (I Timothy 2: 1-3.)

Now let me go back to where I began: As a Christian our primary #1 loyalty is to our creator. Then comes loyalty to our family, neighbor, and yes, to our nation we live in. When we reverse this order we become what some like to call inauthentic Christians. Even when government supports Christian principles as ours did in our beginning we are not “state” churches but God’s churches. When government is good it’s understandable how we can get lost in supporting the State. The real curiosity and question comes how Christians can redefine Christianity through the eyes of the State when its bad, but this is especially happening today in America. By example take these words from Talbert W. Swan, II,  a pastor, bishop, and assistant general secretary with the liberal Church of God in Christ denomination who tweeted that “if heaven is going to be full of American evangelicals, I’ll take my chances on hell.” Or these words: “There is no gray area. You do not defend, excuse, or support the words, actions, and policies of a white supremacist unless you are one or a sympathizer who agrees with the doctrine of white supremacy.” Or these: “Make no mistake, Trump supporters are the ideological descendants of the slave owners, segregationists, Dixiecrats, and Klansmen of yesterday.” An article on Swan can be read HERE.

Swan, and too many American pastors are not preaching Christ but the political correctness of the State. It does not matter if you agree with the State or not, our loyalty first and foremost is to God, who, when we listen to him defines for us what the meaning of the good, correct life is without our biases.